It has been a busy week for me – and I think I’ve alluded to why – and this is likely my last live post until June 21. Look for some special features next week that will appear in my absence. However, before that we can look at this week’s Global Volcanism Program Weekly Volcanic Activity Report – lots of good stuff inside this week’s report, but I thought I’d start off with something we’ve been talking about since the weekend.
Chile:The eruption at Puyehue-Cordón Caulle appears to weakening, which is good news for all the areas in southern South America that have been hit by the ash (video). However, SERNAGEOMIN volcanologist Vincente Nunez said that although seismicity is decreasing that the eruption itself could go on for days to weeks. All this ash is still causes flight disruptions, along with significant contamination of water supplies, some of which have lead to fish kills in the region. Overall, over 4,000 people have been evacuated due to the eruptions. Laurence Golborne, the Minister of Energy and Mining, did mention that Chile will be stepping up monitoring efforts at many of its volcanoes, hopefully increasing the number of actively monitored volcanoes from 14 to 43 by 2014. Eruptions readers Fabrice and Ruben pointed out that OVDAS has now posted links to two webcams for Puyehue-Cordón Caulle (Entrelagos and Futangue), so you might be able to catch a glimpse of the eruption yourself. It is remarkable to see that the ash plume itself may have been 5 km wide at the base of the plume!
Vanuatu: Remember, whenever there is one volcanic eruption in the news, there are many more that never get more than local coverage. One of these events this week was at Yasur in Yanuatu. The volcano has been raised to alert status 3 (of 4) by the Vanuatu Geohazard Obervatory (VGO) after showing increasing ash emissions, explosions and bombs from all three vents of the volcano. Yasur is a very active volcano in the island nation, with the current “eruption” starting in 1774!
Two other volcanoes we’ve been watching closely – the Dieng Volcanic Complex in Indonesia and Popocatépetl in Mexico – both showed signs of unrest over the week, but no real change in the level of activity.
Top left: An undated image of one of the craters at Vanuatu’s Yasur volcano.